GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Here is some of the reaction coming into the KARE 11 newsroom following President Donald Trump's first address to Congress.
Sen: Al Franken: “It’s no secret I disagree with President Trump on a lot of issues and with a lot of what he’s done in the first weeks of his administration. And there are several things he outlined in tonight’s address that concern me.
“For instance, I strongly believe that we shouldn’t repeal the Affordable Care Act, especially given that Republicans have no plan to help the tens of millions of Americans who would be hurt by ripping up the ACA. In tonight’s remarks, the President again failed to offer any specifics about what a replacement plan would look like. We should be building on the successes of the ACA and working to make fixes where things should be working better.
“And we shouldn’t be pursuing draconian and dangerous immigration policies that rip families apart, including refugees fleeing war and terror.
“Yet despite our many disagreements, I will continue looking for ways to work with the President, and he offered some areas where I believe we may be able to find common ground.
“Tonight I brought VFW State Commander Joe Mauricio to the President’s address because I want to highlight the needs of our servicemembers and veterans. I’m glad that the President mentioned them in his remarks, and I hope he will keep them in mind when he has to make decisions that affect foreign policy and the lives of veterans.
“I was also heartened to hear the President convey that he understands the importance of using steel made here in America.
“I’d also like to find common ground with the President on job training, which is a great way to help people of all ages find careers in areas like manufacturing, health care, IT, and energy. I’ve made workforce development a priority during my time in the Senate, which is why I’ll be reintroducing my legislation to create job-training partnerships between two-year schools and local businesses. I’m going to be pushing Congress and the President to pass my bill because it’s exactly the type of thing we should be doing to energize the economy.
“I’m going to keep doing my job the same way I always have, working to make progress for the people of Minnesota wherever I can. Because no matter what the Trump administration does, and no matter how divisive Washington may be, I’ll always put our state first — and I’ll never stop fighting for Minnesota.
Rep. Betty McCollum: "Tonight President Trump gave the American people another speech filled with dangerous policies and empty promises.
“As I’ve listened to my Minnesota constituents, I’ve heard two things: they don’t trust President Trump’s agenda and they are fearful of the direction he is taking our country. Tonight President Trump doubled down on that wrong direction, proposing to strip Minnesotans of their health care, put Wall Street before working families, target vulnerable refugees, and abandon American leadership around the world.
“The priorities offered by President Trump and supported by the Republican Congress take America backwards. My Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate are ready to stand and fight. Yet it will take not only Congressmen and Senators, but citizen action to reject these policies. As we prepare to move America forward, we must come together and defeat the Trump-Republican agenda.”
Minnesota GOP: "Tonight, President Donald Trump spoke powerfully and from the heart to each and every citizen in our country, and he outlined an optimistic, unifying, and bold vision for the nation's future," said Chairman Downey, "Starting on day one, President Trump has fulfilled promises he made to the American people at a record-setting pace, including bringing back American jobs and nominating a strong conservative to the Supreme Court. This evening, he expanded on his plans to pass an aggressive agenda that will solve real problems for real people, provide growth and opportunity for all, and put our nation’s security first. It is our sincere hope that Democrats will join President Trump in fixing the problems facing this country and Make America Great Again!"
DFL Chairman Ken Martin: “Tonight, Trump made his first address to Congress. After a month of his presidency, we saw exactly what we expected; more hate, more lies, and more fear-mongering.
“We’re less than a month into Trump’s presidency and he has abandoned all his promises to fight corruption or stand up for the regular guy. He said he would stand up for working people and on day one of his presidency he broke that promise.
“During the speech, we heard Trump try to justify his extreme agenda and rationalize his first month in office. We heard him say that his Muslim ban, immigration raids, ripping apart of families, attacks on the media, and dangerous cabinet picks were just the beginning of him delivering on his promise to make ‘America great again’.
“But what’s so great about Trump’s vision of America? Whether it is the Muslim ban, the immigration raids, attacks on civil and human rights, or demonizing the press—tonight’s speech reminded us that we’re in a critical time for our democracy. It reminded us that we must keep up the pressure and continue holding Trump accountable for his actions.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar: “After tonight’s speech, I remain committed to standing up for what's right for our state while working to find common ground. I remain concerned about the fiscal responsibility of the Administration’s budget proposals as well as recent actions against refugees. Potential common ground areas mentioned in the speech included rebuilding infrastructure, lowering the costs of prescription drugs, and supporting our veterans and servicemembers.”